Monday Round-up

// 15 June 2009

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I discovered through Sunny on Twitter today that Pickled Politics have highlighted the new “Women Uncovered” blog. The site’s strapline is “Where Brown British Women Bitch” and there are two posts so far: one on veils, headscarves and hijab and one on macho black stereotypes in the classroom.

I also found a blog from Tom Attah, focussed on how we can come together to beat the BNP (thanks for the heads up to Laurie Penny and Helen G):

How do we take a message of understanding and inclusion – the message that I have learned and been taught for the last 36 years – to people who have forgotten it or never been taught that they belong in the world, not on an island?

But you know – it could be easier than I think. After all, everyone likes a curry and a bit of motown.

Over at Womens e-news, there are cheers of the week for a story about the launch of the world’s first “natural” birth control pill, Qlaira, in the U.K and jeers for the bad news that fighting in northwest Pakistan has displaced numerous pregnant women and new mothers.

Meanwhile, Anji Capes has announced that the first carnival of feminist parenting is now up and running and Helen G has posted about an ongoing hate campaign against trans women in Turkey.

Finally, for today, Pink News has reported that there’s a new look for Diva magazine and there’s a piece from Dana Rudolph at the Bilerico Project about Debra Chasnoff’s new film exploring how gender stereotypes and homophobia affect all teens. Along with this, we got a heads-up from Josh Neicho about an article by Jasmine Gardner in the London Evening Standard on the current trend for an apparently more fluid approach to sexuality in young women in recent times. She touches on all the usual infuriating “lipstick lesbian” fakery but also mentions the popularity of Beth Ditto as an indication that times really are changing:

Back in the staid 1990s, Peaches’s dalliances would have had her labelled a LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation), the kind of girl that “serious” lesbians abhorred, who would admit to liking women only until they had to leave the safe haven of university for the real world — and have more “socially appropriate” relationships.

But now Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip and the most in-your-face lesbian the music world has ever seen, has become a celebrated style icon.

Comments From You

Sabre // Posted 16 June 2009 at 1:23 pm

Re. Womens eNews on the birth control pill Qlaira

Beware when people use ‘natural’ in this context. Using plant resources rather than synthetic sources to produce the same chemical does not make it different. No matter how a chemical is produced it will act in exactly the same way (as long as it’s pure).

From Sense about Science:

“Natural products are inherently variable. A plant that does one thing in March may do another in September as its chemical composition changes

(this is why the same variety of fruit is sometimes sweet and sometimes sour). Not surprisingly, people prefer to rely on synthetic versions of chemicals when they need reliability, such as for

contraception or disinfection.”

nick // Posted 16 June 2009 at 4:37 pm

I’m suprised that there is no mention of the news that men are 70% more likely to die of cancer than women.

I know its a feminist site, but not one comment or opinion about it …especially with Fathers Day coming up …….

even if its stupied men cant even look after themselves ….or serves men right for not going to a doctor ….

cheers

nick.

Holly Combe // Posted 16 June 2009 at 5:13 pm

The daily round-up is not exhaustive, Nick. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I only included stuff that would not require much extra commentary or explanation.

There are loads of other news items that I didn’t pick up on so I’m not sure I know what your point is. I must say “derailment” does rather spring to mind but, giving the benefit of the doubt for a moment, I would actually agree there’s a feminist point to be made about the story. As a woman, the feeling of being “under the doctor” is all too real: smear reminders, general mollycoddling/domination attempts from society and the media because of one’s precious status as a potential baby-carrier and, of course, the impending joy of being checked and examined at every turn should one ever get pregnant. The other side of this often intrusive interest in the preservation and protection of women’s bodies is the relative bodily freedom and autonomy that men have traditionally enjoyed, alongside the more problematic neglect from society that comes as part of that. Put simply, I think men need to be pestered and reminded about their bodies a bit more and women need to be pestered a bit less. Things are certainly improving in that we are seeing more health campaigns aimed at men but the legacy’s still there.

And then there’s all that macho rubbish that’s been traditionally trained into men about seeking help and indeed seeming to be passive or “under the doctor”. Still, I must say I’d find that preferable to being expected to be a “good girl” and trust the authority of the doctor, without question.

Not quite “stupid men can’t even look after themselves” or “serves men right for not going to a doctor” but there you go!

Sabre // Posted 16 June 2009 at 5:31 pm

The statistic that men are 70% more likely to die from cancer than women is a bit misleading. Looking at the Cancer Research press release (http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/news/archive/pressreleases/2009/june/men-greater-cancer-death) men are actually 40% more likely to die from cancer. The 70% figure comes from excluding breast, testicular and other ‘gendered’ cancers and lung cancer from the analysis – this is the figure that the media have picked up on because it’s clearly more sensational.

@ nick

The F Word can’t cover every news story. And I doubt that coverage would be along the lines of “stupied men cant even look after themselves ….or serves men right for not going to a doctor”

Man-hating feminist stereotype there?

Steph // Posted 16 June 2009 at 6:48 pm

Nick:

Clue:it’s not about teh menz.

polly styrene // Posted 16 June 2009 at 9:12 pm

Call me dim but I don’t see why Beth Ditto being an icon has anything to do with whether Peaches Geldof is a lesbian until graduation or not. Especially since she’s not a student and her ‘lesbianism’ appears to be confined to having kissed a girl and liked it. Maybe ‘attention seeking until the meeja find some other young woman with no obvious meaningful occupation to focus on’ would be a better description.

mary // Posted 17 June 2009 at 2:26 pm

Back in the staid 1990s, Peaches’s dalliances would have had her labelled a LUG (Lesbian Until Graduation) …

But now Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip and the most in-your-face lesbian the music world has ever seen

Holy non-sequitur, Batman!

I’d love to know what the criteria for assessing in-your-face-lesbianity are. Was Skin from Skunk Anansie insufficiently lesbian or insufficiently in-your-face, do you think?

Saranga // Posted 17 June 2009 at 3:37 pm

Skin from Skunk Anansie is bisexual, not lesbian.

mary // Posted 18 June 2009 at 11:16 am

I guess that qualifies as insufficiently lesbian…

Rosa // Posted 24 June 2009 at 2:44 am

I think I could be in love with Tom Attah.

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